July 24, 2014
City News Service
A building housing Animo South Los Angeles Charter High School was destroyed July 23 by flames that spiraled 100 feet into the air, making the fire visible throughout much of the Los Angeles basin. The blaze was reported at 2:21 p.m in the 11000 block of South Western Avenue, between West 111th Street and West Imperial Highway, according to Inspector Rick Flores of the county fire department. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, but all were treated at the scene, Flores said.
About 20 minutes after firefighters arrived at the scene, they went into defensive mode, moving out of the building and drowning the fire from the exterior. The fire went to a second alarm at 2:42 p.m. The building was presumed empty, although crews had been doing routine maintenance work over the summer break to ready it for the school year that begins Aug. 12, according to Gabriel Sanchez, a spokesman for Green Dot schools, which runs the charter school under Los Angeles Unified School District control. Sanchez noted that there were no students, staff or teachers at the campus.
Christina de Jesus, CEO of Green Dot public schools, said that despite the fire, school would start as scheduled on Aug. 12.
“We are working very closely with Los Angeles Unified School District officials on contingency plans to continue serving our students. School begins on Aug. 12 and we will have a plan in place to serve all of our students,” she said. “Superintendent John Deasy is to be commended for his quick response on our need for alterative space for our students, teacher and staff.”
She said the school has “already begun to notify parents of the incident and will keep them updated on our contingency plans to continue serving our students.”
The CEO also said “At this time, we do not know the cause of the fire nor the extent of the damage.”
The school opened in 2004.